Series I, Part IV: The Parable of The Man and The Boy

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 | Labels: | |

Eventually, the man reached a beautiful field filled with lush green trees and tall grass.
"Astounding." He said, "Such beauty I have rarely seen."

As he headed further down the path he noticed two children ahead playing in the grass.
"Excuse me!" He yelled "Children!"

The children stopped their playing and rushed over to him. One was a little boy and the other a little girl, they both had clothing made of bushes, leaves and grass.

"Hello sir!" the boy said cheerfully.

"Hello young sir, you have quite the manners for a child." The man responded

"And you have quite the manners for an adult." The boy replied

Laughing, the man asked, "Where is it your parents are at child?"

"We have none." The boy said

Astonished, the man replied "No parents? How can this be?"

"We have been here as long as we can remember." The boy replied

The man, worried, asked "Who is it that takes care of you?"

"I assure you, we do not go hungry." The boy stated

The man, persistent, "Well, it is not right for you to be alone at such an age."

The boy responded, "Why?"

The man replied, "Because you are children, and cannot take care of yourselves."

The boy, curious, stated "What do you mean?"

The man, struck by the question, thought about it for a minute. "It means you are not capable of feeding and clothing yourself on your own, and can't take care of yourself when you are sick."

The boy, confused, replied "Where is it you get your food, sir?"

The man replied, "I get my food from the market."

The boy replies, "Where does the market get the food?"

Realizing his mistake, he replies "The market gets food from the trees and animals."

The boy, now confident states, "You get your food from the market, I get mine from the trees and animals where the market gets it, does this not make me able to take care of myself more-so than you?"

Surprised by his logic, the man replied "Surely there is more to taking care of yourself than food. You are neither able to cloth yourself properly."

"I make my clothing out of things I find in the woods, what do you make yours out of sir?" he responds.

Annoyed, the man responds "I do not make mine, I get them from the market as well."

Confused, the boy replies, "Then I do not understand, I make my own cloths and I find my own food, and you do not, but yet I do not take care of myself as you do."

The man retorts, "What if you are sick, where do you go?"

"If we are sick, we treat ourselves with rest and plants from the woods, what is it you do?" the boy responds.

Now angry, the man responds, "I go to the doctor, who gives me medicine for my sickness."

"Where does he get his medicine?" The boy asks, curiously.

"From the plants in the wilderness" the man answers bitterly.

"So I am a man then." The boy says confidently

The man, ponders for a moment then responds "Of course you aren't, for you are a child, and are not aware of the trials you might face."

The boy, disappointed, replied "I see. That makes sense. It is true I do not know the trials ahead of me, when is it you found out the trials that awaited you sir?

The man considered the question for a moment, again, he realized his mistake "That is a good question lad, as I cannot answer it, because I do not know the trials that stand before me."

"Does this mean he is a man?" the girl questioned.

Surprised she joined in the conversation, "I cannot say." The man replied

"Ahh, but you already have." The girl added "You said a man is one who is capable of feeding, clothing and taking care of himself. Also, a man does not know the trials before him, and yet, does not fear them. My brother does all of these things."

The man, now frustrated "But you are children. You do not understand the ways of adults, and you do not know how you will respond to what lies before you."

The girl added, "But neither do you, sir. My brother takes care of me and protects me, he feeds me and clothes me. Does this not make him a man?"

The man ponders what she had said for a moment and states, "Taking care of one another is an important aspect of being a man, this is true, but -"

"Who is it you take care of?" the girl interrupts.

Surprised by the question, the man responds, "I am alone."

"Does this not make you less of a man than my brother? After all, he carries the burden of me as well." She responds curiously

The man, now angry, responds, "Of course not! There is more to being a man than simply taking care of others."

"What is that?" The boy asks, "I surely would like to be a man."

The man was unable to answer the question. "I do not know, but there must be something that separates us from one another."

"Surely there is!" the boy responds.

"What is that?" the man asks

"You are much taller than me!" he replies. Both the boy and the girl ran back into the field to play.

The man, now confused, continues down the path.

Craig Chamberlin